Sunday, June 12, 2011

on Demand...

Being the parents of three cats... is not an easy task. The demands on the back door operation is getting out of hand. We have Paralax and her new found hunting skills. Then there's Pika and his 'need to be in, then out, then in, then out" and finally Tonks and her 'want' to be out, but her 'need' to have the door open at all times to feel safe. This spring has been a chore for Terry and I to keep them all happy. If Pika doesn't get what he wants... he usually tries to destroy things like our carpet by the door. Paralax lays a beating on Pika if she isn't let out when she requests... and Tonks, well, she is vocal about her needs, but far less destructive.
We felt it was going to be a long demanding summer... and we needed a solution! I bought this cat door a few years ago, mostly as a joke...and, sadly, I don't even remember the joke. But we decided the other day that it wasn't really a bad idea.. and on the spur of the moment, Terry got out his power tools and within 15 minutes.. we had a cat door.... This door has a magnetic latch at the bottom, it swings in and out.. and even has a lock on it for when we need to keep them in (or out). Now the trick was to teach them to use it. We decided to tie it open for a few days to let them know they have free reign to come in and out without having to wait for us to open the door, plus for Tonks' sake, it would always be open to allow her a quick escape when something spooked her. Pika was the first to figure it out, and enjoyed going in and out.. and Paralax caught on pretty quickly after Pika.

Tonks on the other hand.... just couldn't believe that the door wasn't WIDE open for her.. and therefore she hung around the little door for a very long time. This was something she would have to figure out on her own... because she wouldn't let us near her to guide her... she doesn't trust us. After the lure of cat treats, cat nip and jealousy (cat treat envy)... she popped through the door.. had a few treats and then slid back inside.
You know though, after that first little adventure for her... she tried it again.. and ventured farther out onto the deck and over to the catnip... always keeping her eyes on the little door. She would then tear over to it, and slam her way through it.. as noisily as a dog would. I think she would go into a mini panic before she got to the door, thinking it might shut before she got there... After a few days though, she was in and out, roaming the deck and the yard, for that matter. She seemed to get braver than we expected!!!Its been installed now for about a week, and we now have it closed but unlocked. Paralax has the whole concept figured out... being able to push the little door open just enough to get her head out and then she slips out quietly and effortlessly. Pika is not interested in trying.. and Tonks is pissed. We still have some work to do... but there is hope!


aprilantipodal said...

Tonks' little face is so expressive! She's definitely not entirely sure about this catflap business yet, but I bet it won't take long.

Watch out, though - I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Tonks started inviting in strays, squirrels and baby raccoons.

ancient one said...

Yes, I was thinking of the undesirables who might wander in. We had lots of lizards around here that have come in from time to time through a little crack in the door. Almost as bad as having a snake !!! but not quite. I'm glad the cats are learning to go in and out for themselves.

Anonymous said...

What we cat owners (or owned-by-cats people) don't do. looks like lotsa fun. :) KofO